Rugby’s new mayor Cllr Belinda Garcia was sworn in to rapturous applause and glowing remarks at the town hall on Thursday (May 18).
The Conservative councillor replaced Cllr Sally Bragg who also received universal praise for a fantastic year representing the town.
Labour Cllr Tom Mahoney was appointed deputy mayor and is expected to take over from Cllr Garcia in 2018.
“I’m delighted to have the honour of being mayor of Rugby and am looking forward to a busy year ahead,” Cllr Garcia said.
“I have chosen ‘teamwork’ as the theme for my mayoral year as I’m a firm believer we achieve far more by working together than alone.
“My charity for the year, the Matt Hampson Foundation, also has teamwork at the heart of its inspiring and important work, and I would be delighted to hear from residents, schools, community organisations or businesses who would like to support my fund-raising during the mayoral year.”
The new mayor has chosen ‘teamwork’ as the theme of her year in office.
Cllr Garcia, who has represented Revel and Binley Woods ward for five years, decided to support the Matt Hampson Foundation during her mayoral year.
The foundation provides support and treatment for individuals who suffer serious injury or disability while participating in, or training for, sporting activities.
The charity helped her brother Jonathan who was injured while playing rugby before he died at the age of 30.
The council chamber was packed with dignitaries, past mayors and guests, including Warwickshire College students, one of whom fainted but he was okay.
Cllr Garcia, originally from Leicester, has lived in Rugby borough for 35 years and said ‘never in wildest dreams’ did she think she would ever be mayor in her speech.